Club climbing the league table again. We need your support.

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With good scores this month from Tony G4LDL and a bit of extra help from Mike G4HGV we have moved up another two places in the 2m UKAC league table. If we can get a few more club members involved we could soon be knocking Harwell off that top spot.

Talk to Tony, Andrew or Mike if you want to get involved.

Talk: Where Do Our Wavelengths Come From? – by Peter Chadwick, G3RZP

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This Thursday we welcome Peter Chadwick, G3RZP, back to our club as he explains to us where our wavelengths come from.

The standardisation of international telecommunications started in 1865 from a proposal of the French government for the introduction of standards to allow telegrams to be sent internationally without the necessity of writing them down and then re-sending on a different system. Regulation of radio started more than 110 years ago with the first radio telegraph convention meeting in Berlin. Following the Titanic disaster, the 1912 convention provided more standardisation, although still aimed primarily at the maritime service. By the 1920s with the dawn of international amateur radio, it was apparent that amateurs would have more influence as a body than individually and thus in Paris in 1925, the International Amateur Radio Union was formed.

IARU members are national amateur radio societies from around the world and provide lobbying and technical input to meetings not only of the ITU – the oldest Agency of the UN – but also to the regional telecommunications organisations such as the CEPT (Conference of European Post and Telecommunications). For example, a number of people are currently engaged in the technical issues of an input to the CEPT on Wireless Power Transmission.

G3RZP is a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Past President of the RSGB, a Honorary Life Vice President of RSGB, a member of the RSGB Technical and Spectrum forums, a Technical Consultant to the IARU and Secretary of the Vintage and Military Amateur Radio Society, and has held his callsign continuously since April 1963. He has a number of operating awards and is in the number one position on the DXCC Honor Roll, with all current entities worked and confirmed. He has 16 patents and over 40 publications in various places. Now retired, he was employed at Plessey Semiconductors through its various changes of ownership for 32 years. He is married to Lynne, G4FNC.

Please join us at Pinetrees from 7pm on Thursday 19th October to see what is sure to be a fascinating presentation.

RSGB Convention – Will You Be There?

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The RSGB Convention is being held at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes on 13-15 October 2017. This year, two SDARC members have been invited to speak.

Tony is presenting about his trip to Botswana and James is talking about his “M1N the Middle” project. Some talks are being videoed and we’re not sure if either of these will be made available for viewing at a later time.

The RSGB Convention programme has exciting lectures covering HF and DXpeditions along with VHF and Technical ones. In addition, AMSAT will be organising some of the lectures as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the RSGB Convention this year.

There is a broad mix of subjects across five streams. There will be topics to cater for all tastes.

As usual, there will also be lots to see in the exhibition lounge with displays from a wide number of special interest groups. Chiltern DX Club, RSGB ARDF committee, AMSAT, UK Microwave Group and UK Six Metre Group will all be present along with a number of others. Near the tea and coffee will be displays from Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu so you can see their latest radio offerings. ML&S will be present selling a wide range of radios and there will be an RSGB bookstall selling our latest publications. There will also be DXCC card checking in the exhibition lounge so don’t forget to bring your QSL cards if you need them validated.

It is possible to attend the Convention for just a day, either Saturday or Sunday, or even both days.

Ticket Prices
Saturday: £15.00
Sunday: £10.00
All weekend: £20.00
Under 21 – Free Day admission – No tickets issued – proof of age required. (Under 16s must be accompanied)

It would be great to see some of you there giving support to Tony and James.

The programme is available to download at

Talk – SOTA (Summits On The Air) by Michael Sansom, G0POT

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On Thursday, 5th October, we welcomed Michael Sansom, G0POT to our club.

Michael is a keen SOTA operator and he will be giving us a presentation on the subject as well as bringing along some associated items which he uses.

SOTA or Summits On The Air is an award scheme originally devised in 2002 and launched in the UK. Since then, the scheme has gone worldwide and has thousands of operators across the globe who can partake by either working the SOTA stations from home (Chasers) or taking to the hills and mountains with a radio to ‘activate’ a summit (Activators). Of course, it is possible to work towards both awards, with the main Chaser award being known as the ‘Shack Sloth’ for 1000 chaser points and the ultimate Activator award being the ‘Mountain Goat’ for 1000 Activator points. Many other award certificates are available before and after the 1000 point marks, making it a great scheme to operate in. The rules can be quite complex, but Michael will guide us through what can be achieved with the scheme.

Unfortunately, Wiltshire is fairly devoid of any qualifying summits, but we do have several 1 pointers fairly close by such as Walbury Hill near Hungerford and Cleeve Hill near Cheltenham. Each summit can only be activated by an operator once a year though, so a ‘Mountain Goat’ might take some time only doing 1 pointers!

Twitter: @DrOrthogonal


WSPR Talk & Demonstration by Viv Williams, M0IEP

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This Thursday, 28th September, we welcome along one of our own members, Viv, M0IEP, who will be WSPRing to us!

One of the things that makes communicating with amateur radio more fun than using the Internet or the phone is that you never know where your signals will be received. Short wave radio propagation is never completely predictable, and can often surprise you. If this is an aspect of radio that fascinates you, then you’ll enjoy using WSPR.

Viv will be giving a talk and demonstration on the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting tool or WSPR ( pronounced Whisper ) for short. WSPR is used by thousands of ham worldwide on a daily basis for understanding propagation and their stations performance .

The talk will cover a brief history of WSPR followed by a demonstration of setting up the software and concluded with some examples of how WSPR can be useful.

Please join us at Pinetrees from 7pm on the 28th September for what is sure to be a fascinating talk and demo.

Railways-on-the-Air 2017 – Swindon & Cricklade Railway

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I would like to invite all members of the Swindon & District Amateur Radio Club to Blunsdon Station this coming weekend – 22nd/23rd/24th September.

We will be operating as GB0SCR.

Friday afternoon from about 15:00 we will be setting up, getting the antenna over the lake is always a challenge and we may operate afterwards.
Saturday we should be operating from about 09:00 until we run out of steam/stations to operate/get hungry, probably about 19:00.
Sunday we should be operating from about 09:00 until we start to tear-down at about 16:00 (all times are BST).

You are all invited to come and see us/meet us at Blunsdon at any time over the weekend. Come and support our effort, bring along a mug and have tea etc.

Just hoping the weather stays good!


Talk: Marconi and the Wireless Reporting of the Kingstown Regatta 1898

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Our Summer operations at Barbury Castle have now come to an end and so we return to Pinetrees on Thursday 7th of September and the start of the Autumn/Winter talk evenings.

On Thursday, we welcome back Dr. Elizabeth Bruton who many will remember gave us the fascinating presentation previously on Radio Amateurs operating during WWI.

Elizabeth now works for the Science Museum in London as the Curator of Engineering and Technology after a spell as Heritage Officer at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

Elizabeth on this occasion will be telling us about an event which took place in 1898 and heralded the arrival of wireless journalism.

After setting up a radio link at Rathlin Island in Ireland, Marconi accepted the challenge to give live reports by wireless of a major yachting event; namely the Kingstown Regatta.

After dismantling the equipment at Rathlin Island, it was erected on a hired tug boat which was used to relay the reports of the regatta to the Harbourmaster’s office in Kingstown. From there, the reports were passed to the press offices with a total of over 700 reports being sent during the Regatta.

The reporting was a great success and ensure plenty of publicity for Marconi and his Wireless system.

As those who saw Elizabeth’s last presentation will know, she has an incredible depth of knowledge on this subject matter and this will be a presentation not to be missed, so please join us from 7pm on Thursday 7th September at Pinetrees to see Dr. Bruton’s presentation.

Activity Nights @ Barbury Castle During August 2017

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Comments Off on Activity Nights @ Barbury Castle During August 2017 2015-07-28 21-17-06Throughout August we will be meeting out and about so the normal club room will not be open. We are meeting in the car park at Barbury Castle. If you don’t know where it is and you have a GPS… 51.483822,-1.777436 or see this map

Barbury Castle is an Iron Age hill fort situated in Wiltshire, England. It is one of several such forts found along the ancient Ridgeway route. The site, which lies within the Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has been managed as a country park by Swindon Borough Council since 1971. It is situated on Barbury Hill, a local vantage point, which, under ideal weather conditions, commands a view across to the Cotswolds and the River Severn. It has two deep defensive ditches and ramparts. The Old Ridgeway runs close by and the modern Ridgeway crosses through the castle. In the surrounding area are to be found round barrows, Celtic field systems and 18th-19th Century flint workings.

We will be returning to Pinetrees from September.

See you there.

Finally Secure By Default!

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Sorry for the delay with this.  We are now secure by default.  You will no longer be able to access the website unencrypted.  We now automatically upgrade your connection to a secure one.  You shouldn’t even notice anything…  unless your browser used to warn you.  If you find any issues, please make contact and we’ll fix as soon as we can.

The reason for the delay was I had to manually hunt down all of the mixed-mode content issues and fix them.